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Ecoclean Reliable part deburring, cleaning and drying on a 15-second cycle

Editor: Steffen Donath

A modular design allows a custom configuration and subsequent expansion, at any time, of equipment from a single source to provide a combined high-pressure deburring, cleaning and drying capability.

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High pressure deburring can be performed using the standard single spindle or an optional HP turret accommodating up to five different tools.
High pressure deburring can be performed using the standard single spindle or an optional HP turret accommodating up to five different tools.
(Source: Ecoclean)

Hydraulic and pneumatic system components, engine blocks, pump and valve housings, nozzles, transmission parts, steering and brake elements and other, mechatronic components — these are just some examples of parts subject to ever more stringent specifications regarding deburring and technical cleanliness. Formerly, meeting both requirements in an optimum manner called for the use of equipment from diverse manufacturers. Now, with its EcoCvelox concept, Ecoclean GmbH has developed a modular solution that combines 5-axis high-pressure deburring with various part cleaning and drying processes in an efficient and space-saving manner.

The modular design allows users to configure individual systems that merge high-pressure deburring, part cleaning and drying from a single source, and to expand them as needs evolve. A combination with other products from this machine manufacturer, e.g., solvent cleaning prior to deburring in applications involving high oil drag-in, is also possible. The diverse standard modules of the EcoCvelox are rated for parts measuring 200 x 200 x 200 mm which are supplied on pallets. This format covers most general industry applications.

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Tooling configuration for the various processes is likewise adaptable to the specific parts. Thus, high-pressure deburring can be performed using the standard single spindle at up to 1000 bar pressure (or a maximum of 3000 bar should the need arise). An optional HP turret accommodating up to five different tools supports complex deburring operations. It provides a tool-to-tool changeover time of 1.5 seconds. The tools for the spindle and the HP turret can be custom-designed to match the given part and can be made by 3D printing. For part cleaning, the processes of injection flood washing, spray cleaning and selective rinsing are available and can be combined. Drying can be achieved by high-velocity air blow-off and/or vacuum, with the air blowing solution being integrable into a cleaning module as well.

CAD/CAM interface for deburring operations

The CAD/CAM interface allows a transfer of part design data for purposes of programming the high-pressure deburring step. This can be done offline to load the data into the machine controller, which is easier and faster than any conventional teach-in method. Moreover, this capability helps to set up deburring processes for new parts in minimum time and at low cost. For part identification, a camera system can be integrated. The result is an effective and cost-efficient deburring operation, even with ‘lot size one’ parts.

Part handling for the deburring process takes place in one Y-axis in the basic version. However, for high throughputs and the associated exacting cycle time requirements the module can be fitted with a second Y-axis. This allows loading and unloading to proceed in parallel with deburring. The process time, at 14.5 seconds, thus becomes almost equivalent to the 15-second cycle duration. The same can be achieved for the cleaning and drying module by integrating a second, concurrently operating work chamber.

Pallets are moved between the individual processing stations by means of a linear drive system integrated as standard that is characterized by its highly dynamic performance and wear-free motor. It conveys the parts from one station to the next at a speed of 4 to 5 meters per second, thus contributing further to the system's operating efficiency. The loading process can be automated by means of a gantry system or robot.

For process-inherent reasons, all tools used for deburring are subject to wear, which in turn results in a pressure drop. This means that tools need to be replaced after a certain number of operating hours. On the new EcoCvelox, a patented software and a VFD-controlled high-pressure pump ensure that the process pressure is readjusted for this effect. This smart solution, providing a continual adaptation of the high-pressure level, extends tool life by at least 50 % and thus boosts plant availability at the same time.

For a fast and efficient tool change, the deburring module has a lateral maintenance door. This provides easy access to both the lance of the single spindle and to the turret-mounted high-pressure tools.

Effective overview

Another feature contributing to the equipment’s high process reliability and availability rates is its new intuitive operator guidance system. On the 19" flat screen monitor (HMI), all of the system’s modules are presented separately and clearly in a complete overview diagram, similar to a smartphone display. If a problem occurs, this is indicated by a colour change of the affected module, e.g., to a shade of yellow or red. As the digital documentation is integrated into the HMI, it suffices to touch the image of the respective module briefly on the touch screen to view a process technology diagram, flow diagram or electrical circuit diagram in which all installed components are neatly shown, with the “malfunctioning” component (e.g., a pump) highlighted in a different colour. A detailed view of this item can in turn be pulled up at the touch of a finger. Various functions such as activating or deactivating this component not merely support fast intuitive troubleshooting but also supply clear problem solving information. Moreover, the lists of wear parts and spare parts featuring in the digital documentation will facilitate part ordering if necessary.

Due to its high flexibility in terms of both equipment configuration and process design, the EcoCvelox is a one-stop solution for all deburring, cleaning and drying needs. To avoid exhaust air, the system can optionally be equipped with an energy efficient air recirculation system.

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